This past decade I have taken it upon myself to assemble what is believed by most to be the worlds greatest collection of rare antique scientific planetarium projection instruments including some one of a kind projectors. Never before has such a wonderful and unusual collection of planetarium projectors ever been assembled together in one location from all over the United States.
These projectors are not just meerly a teaching tool, but an instrument of such fascination, inspiration and importance that people are are seldom the same after their first introduction to an exciting planetarium experience. To see so many planetarium projector instruments together at one time realizing that they were born of mans' need and ability to understand and realistically recreate the heavens above never ceases to amaze all those that see it. To quote Armond Spitz: "There are few instruments which, in themselves, arouse as much attention as planetarium projectors, regardless of their actual functioning. The projector is, in itself, one of the major interests of every planetarium audience, and the admiration of visitors as they examine it on entering or leaving the planetarium always quickly demonstrates its value as an attention compellor."
My remaining challenge then is to be able to make these opto-electro-mechanical engineering marvels available for exhibition and to see them properly displayed for the general public to enjoy. There exists here an unparalleled historic oportunity to display and exhibit these marvelous machines of the past that will never be built again. There is a possibility here not only to educate, but more importantly to inspire the general public to take an interest in our national space program as well as astronomy, science and engineering.
The plan then, is to make this astounding collection available to larger planetariums, science and technology museums, and/or city and county museums that accept, and are looking for, a touring temporary exhibit to attract and educate its visitors. We would be helping not just one individual planetarium but, rather, the entire planetarium community as a whole in addition to helping the host museums with a most unusual and extreamly rare exhibit.
The mystery and profound charm inherent in the majesty of these devices are sure to excite and challenge both young and old alike. The best preparation for the future is in our hands by seeing that the present is well tended to by inspiring our children. As a statue lies hidden in a block of marble, so does our next generation of scientists lie hidden within our children, perhaps needing only the inspiration that an exhibition of this type might bring. Afterall, the children of today will surely be the architects of tomorrows science and space programs.
The enormous expense, difficulty and hard work of finding and collecting these impressive instruments has been accomplished and they may be viewed at my website: www.PlanetariumMuseum.org The next steps need to include the preparation of the projectors for exhibition, crating, transportation and setup of the collection at the participating museums. I am now at the position where I need the help of a major sponsor(s) to help with the remaining work. It is to this end that I wish to open a dialog with you.
Working together, with this first of its kind planetarium exhibit, we have the most unusual and historic oportunity of opening a gateway of imagination and inspiration which is sure to have a profound future influence beyond our expectations.
Owen Phairis, Director
Planetarium Projector and Space Museum
member: Pacific Planetarium Association
member: Rocky Mountain Planetarium Association
member: Planetarium Network
member: Home Planetarium Association